When I’m out speaking to business people, just about everyone has heard of Twitter. But in spite of the phenomenal growth Twitter has experienced, the majority of people I meet still haven’t given it a try.
The main reason people give is “I just don’t get it. Why does anyone care that I’m having lunch or going to the bathroom.”
Well I can tell you now, no one cares that you’re going to the bathroom! That’s truly T.M.I. – too much information!
However, if you follow these seven simple rules you can be interesting, personable and a successful marketer on Twitter.
Share your discoveries
Some of my favorite people on Twitter are those who regularly share interesting links. They may be links to new tools, links to interesting videos or links to great blog posts. When I see their tweets I know the link is worth clicking because it will give me information I didn’t have before. And the best part, I didn’t have to go looking for it, it came to me.
Have you ever been to a networking meeting and met a guy who only talked about his business? He told you about his products, how much they cost and is Tuesday a good time for the two of you to discuss making a purchase. Yeah. I hated him too.
The problem was he didn’t give you a chance to get to know him as a person first. We all like to do business with those we know, like and trust. Twitter gives people the chance to get to know you, if you take the time to get personal.
And while you shouldn’t talk about your bodily functions, you can talk about things going on in your personal life. It gives people a chance to relate to you as a real person, particularly if they have experienced the same thing.
So go ahead and talk about mowing the lawn, walking your dog or how much you loved the Star Trek movie. You never know who might share the same interests or experiences.
The real power of Twitter is holding conversations with your tribe. When someone says something interesting, comment on it by using the @ sign in front of their Twitter name. This lets them know your comments are directed to them personally. Just remember that @replies are public, so act accordingly.
Share the love
From time to time someone you are following will say something particularly interesting that you want to share with your followers. Or they may have passed along a link to a video you really enjoyed. This is called a Retweet. When you put an RT in front of their message and resend it to your list you are expanding the conversation. Your followers get to read this great Tweet, are introduced to a new person and the originator of the Tweet knows you appreciated what they had to say. Retweeting puts the social into Twitter.
Show off your expertise
If you write a new blog post, publish a video or are interviewed in a podcast Tweet about it. If the material you are producing is interesting and helpful to your audience, they’ll appreciate being kept informed.
Quote me on that
People love humorous or inspirational quotes. Whether you get them from a book of quotations, a quotations website or from your daily reading, sending your favorite quotes in a Tweet is an easy way to share with your followers.
Now you can market
Once you’ve done all these other things on Twitter, then you can start marketing. Introduce a new product, send a link to your sales page, invite people to join your email list, offer a free tool. In general the rule is to send four or five social messages for every one promotional message. If you’re just starting out, you might make it ten social to one promotional until everyone has a chance to get to know you.
Andrea J. Stenberg
Have I missed any ways to use Twitter? Leave a comment and share how you are using it.